The start of 2015 will not be the same as any other year for me. From January to March I am taking what used to be called ‘Sabbatical’, but now in the church is called ‘Extended Ministerial Development Leave’. It comes about half way through my time in full-time church ministry. I was ordained 15 years ago and, all being well, I expect to retire 14 years from now. During this time of ‘EMDL’ I will not be undertaking church duties, but instead will be taking time to reflect on my ministry and all that is happening at Christ Church. I will be attending conferences and courses and I will take time in retreat, praying and seeking God. I will also have time of rest and relaxation to visit friends and family, and to visit other churches. Later in the year, as part of this EMDL, Jacqui and I will visit the Holy Land.
Whilst I am off duty, our Curate, Annie, and our churchwardens, Ismay and Dave, will take care of matters at Christ Church. I will return on 1st April in time for Easter. I won’t be away all the time, so you may see me around, but as a rule I will not be in Christ Church on Sundays.
You may be aware that the PCC has had two ‘Vision Days’ recently. This has been part of our seeking God to lead us forward as a church. This has included how we describe ourself as a church, how we promote ourself as a church, and how we conduct ourself as a church.
The PCC will continue to consider these things during the next few months, as will I, and I will be able to give an update at the APCM on Wednesday 29th April.
Please pray for me whilst I am away, and for those who take on extra responsibilities; and pray that God may continue to lead us.
“I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” (Ephesians 3:14-17)
Revd Andy Wilson
Find this article and others in the January issue of our parish magazine, ‘Portsdown Post‘.